Monday, September 19th, 2011 at 11:58 am  |  56 responses

SLAM 152: On Sale Now!

Derrick Rose reaches a new level.

Ed’s Note: While the ongoing lockout has dampened feelings about the NBA, the game of basketball remains incredibly healthy and its players remain compelling both to our staff and our readers. Since we last gave Derrick Rose his own national cover, almost exactly 11 months ago, no player in the sport had a bigger rise in prominence than this young man from Chicago. Yes, he was already an All-Star and the owner of a signature shoe back then, but after a year in which his team led the League in wins, he became the youngest player ever to win MVP yet remained incredibly humble about the whole thing and saw shoes he helped push explode in popularity, D Rose can now be placed in the top tier of popular athletes, NBA or otherwise. Given that, we’re thrilled to have him on the cover of this hot-looking new issue, which should be on newsstands in NYC today and the rest of the country this upcoming weekend. But don’t think we built a great D Rose story (see below for a little preview from Senior Writer Nima Zarrabi) and called it a day. For our first SLAM in two months (after our annual KICKS issue held down August), we also got free-flowing, quote-packed features with Tyreke Evans, Delonte West and Steve Nash, two incredibly informative historical-type pieces and a college preview that spotlights Perry Jones. It’s so good, in fact, it’ll almost make you forget about the lockout.—Ben Osborne

by Nima Zarrabi / @NZbeFree

cover and inset portraits by Atiba Jefferson / @atibaphoto

I’m talking dunk contest entry with Derrick Rose.

Yes, it’s a meaningless discussion. He’s above it, doesn’t need it. But it’s summer and we’re saturated in lockout hysterics, so it’s the perfect time to talk what-ifs and hypotheticals.

“Any chance you would ever consider participating?” I ask.

“I’d never consider it,” Rose says, smiling at the thought. “I can jump high but I’m not creative like that. There are some guys out there that can really jump and are really creative and there’s no way I’ll be able to do that.”

“I find that very hard to believe,” I declare, still hoping.

“Everybody is surprised when I say that,” Rose says, laughing. “Even in high school they used to try to get me into dunk contests and I would never do it. Never. They would say, ‘you can easily win this’ and I was like, ‘never’.”

He notices my disappointment and because he’s a true gentleman, he tries to build me back up.

“For right now, I would never do it but you never know,” he says.

I caught up with Rose this summer for our cover story for SLAM #152 when he landed in Cali for his annual summer workouts. Following a month away from the game at the end of the season to allow his body to fully heal up, Rose’s first order of business in SoCal was the adidas Super Shoot, held on a lavish set in West Hollywood.

The face of adidas basketball, Rose has ascended to become one of the brand’s most important athletes. He has traveled the globe this summer making numerous appearances for adidas as they build him into a global star. At the Super Shoot, Rose spent a few nine-hour days on set as the brand shot photographs and commercials to promote the release of his dope upcoming signature shoe, the adizero Rose 2.0.

Draped in a clean adidas Y-3 fit, Rose was in great spirits as he held a pair of his sneaks in his hands, going in depth to explain the features and design. Once very shy and distant in front of the camera, he has grown more comfortable in media interviews and during appearances for adidas, developing into a natural pitchman.

Our discussion with Rose was wide-ranging and we spent some time talking about whether or not he would consider playing overseas. It’s clear that it’s not something he wants to do: Rose says that he will prepare all summer as if there will be an NBA season, refusing to give into the possibility of a year without games.

And he’s very positive about the future of the Bulls—just the way they are, believing his team is on the brink of a championship. He turns 23 next month. Last year, he told us he was going to be MVP. He did it, putting his team on his back and leading them to the Eastern Conference Finals. Rose is far from satisfied and devoted to improve his conditioning and adding new wrinkles to his game. There are new goals for his fourth season. Let’s just hope he gets a chance to play them out.

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  • http://slamonline.com GotHandles?


  • http://slamonline.com Maurice Bobb


  • Double J

    wow as much as i’d like to see d12 in LA, thinking about seeing him play with rose is too much for me

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    “The World’s Most Dangerous Player,” huh?
    That’s sure to spark a controversy of some sort, I’m sure. The cover is MEAN, tho!

  • Monstarzz

    OK. lockout what?@?

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    So this is what Hellboy would look like if he played basketball…

  • http://staticseth.blogspot.com Seth

    I’m expecting the NCAA coverage will be a little more heavier than usual.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    DRose is a great player and all but I’m really getting tired of all the “he’s so humble” he makes Mother Theresa look like Hitler nonsense. How bout sticking to what he does on the court and spare me the rest.

  • tony scorpio

    Got us all seeing red…ay-hooo
    The champ is back!!!!
    Save us slam!!!!

  • http://slamonline.com Brad Long

    Very nice cover. The locout sucks but at least college ball is gonna be the sh!t this year. I’m gonna say that LeBryan Nash is in the Player of the Year talks before everythings said and done.

  • LA Huey

    Dope cover.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    SLAM’s got me seeing red!!! :D

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Taylor

    Such a great cover.

  • $tev3

    Not a D-Rose fan but this cover is SICK!

  • yo yo yo

    cover is tooooooo sick….cant even describe how upset ill be if there is no NBA this year….too much young talent for them to not figure it out! D Rose/Bulls vs Bron/Heat for the next ten years in the east!!!!!

  • JEr dawg

    It’s like the same old Derrick Rose cover, with same old expression, same old pose. Every photo of him feels like Groundshog Day in a dark room inside a photo room. Same dull cover. I like his game and I’m a fan, but he just isn’t photogenic and doesn’t have charisma shining through. Why not a Durant cover? The cover is a little dull.

  • Oscar Periz

    SEE RED! Great cover!

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    True. This pose does look just like his “Fresh 2 Death” cover…

  • bike

    Why the red? Crappy cover. Crappy layout. World’s most dangerous player??? What does that mean?

  • http://slamonline.com David Cassilo

    Especially dope cover this month.

  • robb

    BIG DRose fan here, but @JEr dawg is right. If he had any charisma he’d be the biggest thing Adidas ever had.

  • MLK4Life

    D-Rose is the most dangerous player probably because he still has a lot he can improve on. Plus, he’s only 22. Hasn’t even begun to approach his prime years yet. He and KD are more than ready to take over the league for the foreseeable future.

  • http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-bulls-talk/2011 Diesel

    I like the cover and I really like the decision to go with the black jersey. The Bulls need to wear those more.

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Derrick Rose’s two-handed cock-back dunks are pretty charismatic, IMO.

  • samila

    sick cover story

  • logues

    i love the red background, its something different. the black uni is pretty sweet too. and ya, i agree the pose is kinda the same looking as his other covers, but its still a great cover

  • Rody

    and the season WHAT???? Another lockout?? Too bad
    cover? NICE

  • http://sajkflf.com Jukai

    bike: Do you really not know why the red is used? I mean… think of his team.
    I actually really like the cover. Not such a huge Rose fan, but I’ll get it cause I’m a SLAM zombie.

  • C Da Tyrant

    Stop it slamm ur killin da comp let em eat man, at this rate yall gonna get arrested for assault & battery with a deadly weapon.

  • http://hoopism.com airs

    yeaaaaaah boy

  • mike

    I argee with Ben in that Rose’s dunks speak loud enough. Great looking cover and as a bulls fan I love it.

  • http://itsahardwoodlife.blogspot.com omphalos

    pretty curious about the gerald henderson piece… not sure what he’s done to get attention lately

  • http://www.slamonline.com big_ticket


  • sup3rstar

    damn, imagine D Rose and D12 on the same team

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    The cover is nice! and those black bulls uni’s do look fire.

  • Bmack


    You sir, are fired from sports.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Jahmai

    Hell yes.

  • arthur


  • mvpitzki

    So it looks like SLAM has forgotten who the champs are. I was hoping this issue would have something on the Mavs since the Championship issue talked more about Miami and the recap was well short of what it usually is. Now i have to read about a bum like Delonte West instead of any other player that made an actual contribution to a team last season. SLAM is really making me overthink my subscription, I resubscribed for 4 more years 6 months ago and have received nothing but issues with little mention of the Mavs. Since 2006 I have read nothing but LeBron, Kobe, Carmelo and Wade. You have really disappointed me SLAM.

  • John

    did JEr dawg just say Drose wasn’t charismatic and then go ahead and say why not Durant? Durant has the personality of a wet blanket and the game to match. At least Drose is fun to watch. between his dunks in traffic and acrobatic layups … he is exciting to watch. All durant does is shoot and get to the line. yawn.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Dirk was just on the last cover, dude. Stop hating.

  • DaBUU

    DRose is Chicago, and we don’t do charismatic over here. We only do, step on your damn throat. Bow to the MVP! DRose, DA Bulls!

  • mvpitzki

    I’m not talking about the last cover, obviously the finals Mvp is on the cover, but I’m talking about the lack of stories relating to the Mavs. That last issue had the shortest recap of any of the finals series since i started subscribing in 2006. Alot of that recap had more to do with The Heat trio than the team that actually won. I do like the Derrick Rose cover but the articles always tend to be towards more of the Eastern conference teams and the west has only been represented by the lakers and nuggets(this will change since Melo is no longer there). I have read more about players that could end up playing for an eastern team than what is going on with any of the other teams in the west.

  • robb

    @mvpitzki that’s because the Mavs are not charismatic either.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric


  • http://www.slamonline.com Max

    Robb, Stevenson has enough charisma for a whole team! :)

  • http://SLAM FLIGHT 9


  • http://www.thebasketbulls.com/ chicago bulls 2012

    start the damn season already! i need some NBA already. DROSE MVP 2012!

  • jason kimbrough

    Sickest PG in the game, Top 10 most athletic players in the NBA, will win a few MVP’s before its all said and done. The jumper gets better and better and noone can keep him out of the paint….except Lebron go figure.

  • sup3rstar

    @ FLIGHT 9 I agree :D badass

  • r2j

    Way to go by putting D-Rose on the cover. It’s a very good look for my city Chicago. We’ll see you again Miami whenever the lockout is over.

  • http://h2hoops.wordpress.com/ Habeeba

    Seriously made my day when I got home to see this ish waiting for me. Thanks, SLAM.

  • RaZkOL

    Most Dangerous is right, Kid is a straight baller. Dont understand y people say he didn’t deserve the mvp. Who did? he was EVERYTHING for Da Bulls! Without him My Bulls are nothing. they’d be the Cleveland Cavaliers. 60 wins? Come on man. Poohdini is a BEAST! Recognize!

  • Jared

    Shawn Bradley finger roll was perfect. Brought a smile to my face even a mist this horrible lockout.

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    I love any issue that features a steve nash article… a PG on the cover…. buy it twice!?!

  • Zabbah

    why is this back on the main page?